What are endometrial polyps and their relationship with infertility
The endometrium is the membrane that covers the innermost part of the uterus. On occasion, part of the endometrial tissue may grow in an excessive or irregular way, leading to something we call endometrial polyps. This is what we’d like to talk to you about in this article today.
One of the important points when talking about endometrial polyps is that, as they are considered an abnormal growth of tissue, they are classified as tumours. Nonetheless, you must keep in mind that the majority are benign.
Endometrial polyps are, generally speaking, small in size and grow slowly, though on occasion they can occupy the entire endometrial cavity. We’re going to explain more about them and their impact on assisted reproduction treatment.
How common are endometrial polyps?
The most frequent polyps are located in the back of the uterus. It is estimated that they develop in 10% of women. In patients with fertility issues the incidence is higher, between 15% and 25%.
Additionally, the likelihood of developing endometrial polyps is greater in women with obesity, hypertension, women over the age of 40 and women who do not ovulate (anovulation), such as patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
What symptoms do endometrial polyps cause?
The majority of polyps, due to their small size, do not cause any symptoms. The polyps which do cause symptoms, however, can cause bleeding between periods or bleeding during intercourse. Polyps which grow to a large size can even become so big that they protrude through the cervix.
How are endometrial polyps diagnosed?
The first test done to diagnose a polyp is the transvaginal ultrasound and it should be performed during the first half of the female’s cycle before ovulation. A definitive diagnosis is made by performing a hysteroscopy.
What’s the treatment for endometrial polyps?
In many cases, endometrial polyps don’t require any treatment as they will go away on their own. However, the treatment of choice is usually surgical removal, by hysteroscopy, allowing for the polyp to be completely removed and analysed.
Polyp removal by hysteroscopy is a simple technique for experienced professionals and is normally an outpatient procedure using local or general anaesthesia. Recovery following this surgical intervention is generally very quick and most patients feel back to their normal selves almost immediately, though some women will experience some spotting or discomfort similar to a period.
How do endometrial polyps affect fertility?
Polyps cannot be overlooked when studying a patient’s fertility. Although there are differing opinions when it comes to which polyps impact fertility depending on size and location, it has been observed that natural pregnancy rates increase by 23% to 35% after having polyps removed.
Additionally, several studies on in vitro fertilisation cycles have concluded that endometrial polyps which are less than 2 centimetres in size have no effect on the outcome of treatment.
Would you like to have your fertility tested and rule out the presence of polyps? You can count on our fertility clinic in Spain. Learn about what your Gutenberg experience will be like and about everything we can help you with if you’re trying to become a mother through assisted reproduction treatment.